At least one person died as a result of Monday’s heavy rains and gusts in California, a state in the West of the United States, while millions more were at risk of severe flooding.
As a so-called “atmospheric river” reached ashore from the Pacific Ocean, the US National Weather Service issued a warning about “life-threatening” flash floods brought on by “excessive rainfall,” particularly in the southern portion of the state.
The Los Angeles area was predicted to receive five to eight more inches of rain on Monday, bringing the total amount of rain in the previous 48 hours to up to eight to fourteen inches in some places, according to the NWS.
This extra rainfall will worsen already saturated conditions and ongoing floods, increasing the risk of potentially fatal, locally catastrophic flash, urban, and small-scale flooding.
With almost four inches of rain, Downtown Los Angeles saw one of its wettest days ever, according to the local NWS office. They cautioned locals on social media to “avoid travel if at all possible” because of the “extremely dangerous situation.”
Governor Gavin Newsom issued an emergency declaration for eight counties in Southern California in response to the flood, emphasizing that “this is a serious storm with dangerous and potentially life-threatening impacts.”
The following areas are covered by the governor’s emergency declaration: Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Santa Barbara.